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hi y'all i'm interested in starting a bee hobby for honey and candle making but not for selling. I have no experience in this venture and I am a little scared of bees, i'm not allergic but do swell up a bit when stung, I am planning on purchasing a full body suit with gloves. How do you know where the best location to place your hives? Do I need to have a special garden, like butterfly, hummingbird etc., ive been watching all sorts of youtube videos and getting really confused quick. Anyway one the videos recommended this site so here I am. LOL

I live in a rural community and I have about 26 chickens and 2 dogs and my hubby, when is the best time to get started, I figure that around now is when i should be purchasing bees but wanted alittle more information probably wont get bees until next spring so I can have a thorough thought process and my I can get my hives ordered and set up.

Anybody else here from Alabama


We have a 100 year old Magnolia tree in the back yard and we call our property Magnolia Manor so I think my hives will be Magnolia Manor Honey Bees or something like that.
 

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Welcome.

How do you know where the best location to place your hives?
A location with plenty of sun throughout the day and good drainage would be a good start. I would recommend reading a book by Keith Delaplane called "First Steps In Beekeeping". That book has plenty of basic info for beginners.

ive been watching all sorts of youtube videos and getting really confused quick.
Yeah, be careful about YouTube. Some good info but plenty of bad info. And also remember that what one beekeeper does successfully in his location may not work in your location in Alabama.

when is the best time to get started, I figure that around now is when i should be purchasing bees but wanted alittle more information probably wont get bees until next spring so I can have a thorough thought process and my I can get my hives ordered and set up.
You missed the best time to get started by a month or two. You might be able to catch a swarm now to get started but it sounds like you need to get edumacated before diving in. If I were you I would look for a beekeeping club in the area and attend some meetings. Some clubs offer beginner classes. You might also find somebody who could be your mentor to help you get started. I would spend the next several months learning and gathering together the tools and equipment you will will need.

Buying bees is not like going to the store and finding them on the shelf. Typically you will need to order your bees (package or nuc) in December or January because the suppliers usually sell out early.

Good luck with your new hobby.
 

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Like Hobo said.Welcome and follow all the posts. :)
 

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Welcome aboard. There are several of us on here from God’s country. I would highly recommend that you check with your county extension office and see if they offer a beginners class. That’s a great way to get started and meet other beekeepers in your area. Read all you can here and other places on the net. As you are reading/watching, pay attention to where people are from because beekeeping techniques are quite regional. Keep asking questions

War Eagle
 

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Welcome to Beesource, LoveyBegonia.

Looks like you have gotten some good advice thus far. If not fully-prepared, I'd recommend waiting until next year at this point- this will give you plenty of time to get ready, and based on your locale you might want to be set up and ready to go by late February / early March.

Best of luck to you in your preparatory efforts.

Russ
 

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As Waverly bees said, get into a bee club, find a mentor, and get equipment and the like togather now, so your ready before next spring. Welcome from Alabama!!! And Roll Tide !!! No offense Waverly. 😊
Good luck, Rich
 

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As Waverly bees said, get into a bee club, find a mentor, and get equipment and the like togather now, so your ready before next spring. Welcome from Alabama!!! And Roll Tide !!! No offense Waverly. ��
Good luck, Rich
None taken, Rich. It’s all in good fun.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
As Waverly bees said, get into a bee club, find a mentor, and get equipment and the like togather now, so your ready before next spring. Welcome from Alabama!!! And Roll Tide !!! No offense Waverly. 😊
Good luck, Rich
No offense taken I'm not into sports got to many other things going to occupy my mind and time.
 

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your location says B'ham, so... I've seen a few post were people were selling their hives. Check the "Beekeeping In Alabama" group on FB.
it's not too late for a full hive or nuc IMHO. If you're able to find a hive or nuc, keep in mind, you'll need equipment. https://www.foxhoundbeecompany.com/ is in Hoover
I like his bee suites and his hive bodies and equipment. I've purchased from him and you can (or at least used to be able to) go by his house/shop and pick it up.

Join the "Jefferson County Beekeeper's Association - Members Page" on FB and the organization https://www.jeffcobees.org/

online Class $40 , was free but not anymore https://extension.psu.edu/beekeeping-101
 

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Lbegonia, I'd start with 2 hives. Massive planting isn't needed. But, always a good idea. Helps pollinatilors, and bees. For honey you will do good after the first season of bee keeping. You gotta grow em through the spring flow, they gotta make drawn frames of wax/comb. Then get em through the summer dearth, feed em well. You might get a small fall flow, then see where your at with the honey. Harvest if you can, and feed em like crazy end of August or September. In our area, you will need to keep em well stocked til early and sometimes layer in winter. As we don't have any hard winters, the bees will be a bit more active, and require your help if they are to survive. I've seen brood in December. As far as wax, for candles. You may get a very small ammount from your bees over time. Remember, wax/comb is the most valuable part of the hive in keeping bees. I'd say order wax, and produce the honey for your use, as harvesting wax is really a byproduct, unless you have lots of hives, and want that many bees. At this time of year, it's gonna bee extremely hard to find packages. I'd say get nucs, as they are already established. Also, hard to find around our parts. Get prepared to make or buy equipment way before you need it. Growing bees, means preparing way ahead. Now, we must treat for varroa, and hive beetles. Strong hives can pretty much defend against beetles, and wax moths. You can never think the bees can ward off varroa mites. You must treat for them at regular intervals. Doing mite checks once a month is a great idea, and treat vigilantly to control them.
I think this all sounds overwhelming. It really isn't, just takes time to learn, and learning from mistakes is best. Join a local bee club, watch and read all you can on internet. Just remember, all you see and hear isn't always the best. Common sense, and a bit of education goes a long way. I'd say your off to a good start, and beesource is a great place to ask, and learn from others, as well. A fun hobby, and a great learning experience. Costly at start, but well worth the time. 3 years in hobby here, in Cullman, al. . I'd be happy to help you out qith a few nucs when your ready, and will give you some advise as you come along.
Wishing you and hubby the best. Rich
 
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